Cost of Living in Turkey- Mediterranean Beach Life For $1000 a Month In Antalya

07/04

MINUTE READING TIME

QUICK SUMMARY- COST OF LIVING IN ANTALYA, TURKEY

  • Monthly budget in Antalya for a Single Person = $1,000 <skip to budget details>.
  • Avoid the summer peak season and monthly leases to save 50% or more on your rental costs.
  • Food in Turkey is delicious, protein-heavy, and cheap. 
  • With straightforward long-term visa options and low living costs, Antalya makes an excellent early retirement destination.  

Despite negative Western press, Turkey is still a hotspot for expats, retirees, and digital nomads. Here, you can live in a cosmopolitan city or on a sun-kissed beach at lower rates than in neighboring countries. An enjoyable Mediterranean lifestyle is yours for less than $1000 per month.

Antalya, a gorgeous resort city, is an ideal example. The best things to do here are free or stunningly cheap. Beaches are all public, so lounging in the sun or swimming in the sea is free.

This post may contain affiliate links. I may get a commission if you purchase something using my link. Please note, there is NO ADDITIONAL COST to you. For more information, please see my disclosure.

Sitting in the historic Old Quarter to watch the boats float into the harbor while enjoying a Turkish coffee is 0.50 cents. Need a breakfast bagel? Less than $1. Maybe you are ready for lunch? $2. 

Enjoying some sunshine, the Mediterranean Sea, and ancient ruins.

It is sometimes challenging to comprehend the low cost of living in Turkey. This guide helps new expats interested in moving to Antalya envision the high quality of life a $1000 monthly budget affords them. 

The local currency is the Turkish Lira (TRY). At the time of this writing, the exchange rate is 1 US Dollar = 7.53 TRY For reference, 1 Euro = 8.87 TRY.

What Is The Cost Of Living In Antalya?

A morning coffee by the harbor in Kaleici (Old Town) is an ideal start to a day.

$1000- Cost of Living in ANTALYA TURKEY Details [HIDE]

Total Monthly Expense$ 999
COST PER MONTH
Rent- Furnished Large 1 Bed, 1 Bath, Walkable to the Sea500
Water/Sewer/Garbage/ElectricINCLUDED
High-Speed Internet/Cable TVINCLUDED
Cell Phone- 4 GB Internet Per Month5
Total Housing Expense505
Home Cooked Meals 14 times per Week140
Fast Food 5 times per Week87
Casual Bistro Restaurant once per Month17
Fine Dining Restaurant once per Month25
Total Food Expense269
Cinema Tickets 1 time per Month4
Budget Night Out-3 beers at a local bar once per Week35
Big Box Gym (Weights and Group Classes)20
Total Entertainment58
Public Transportation 3 Roundtrips a Week11
Taxi 1X per Week46
Total Transportation Expense57
Local Resident Private Health Insurance60
Health Care Expense60
Haircut 10 times per Year4
Personal Care Items- Shampoo, Soaps, Etc.20
Household Items- Laundry Soap, Tools, Dishes, Etc.20
Total Personal Care and Misc Expense44
Exchange Rate to $1 USD to TRY (Turkish Lira)7.53

 EDITOR'S NOTE Pandemic circumstances only allowed me to stay in the country for five weeks during the summer peak season. I relied more on my network of other expats and digital nomads to get an idea of "normal" costs.

How Does The Cost of Living In Turkey Compare To The US?

Depending on your lifestyle, you can spend between $1,000 to $1,500 per month. My living costs of $1,000 per month are specifically for Antalya, but you'll find similar rates in any of the expat cities.

Istanbul will be the most expensive. Expenses in the capital are only about 10% higher, but the value of what you get is lower. For example, $250 per month is the average price for a centrally located apartment in Antalya. The same $250 in Istanbul would require you to live in a less attractive neighborhood outside the city center.

When comparing against European countries, Turkey is even cheaper than low-cost Eastern European countries, Bulgaria and Romania.

 Geoarbitrage fans will love the lower consumer prices here. Antalya is mega affordable compared to US or Western Europe. Check out this cost of living comparison of the average prices for a single person in a US city (Portland) compared to an "expensive" city in Turkey(Antalya).

Living in Antalya could save you over $19,000+ per year.

It's no wonder that Turkey is a hot spot for digital nomads and retirees looking for cheaper living. Next, let's look closer at the quality of life a $1000 budget buys you.

Essential Living Costs

US-

Portland

TR-

Antalya

HOUSING

$962

$505

FOOD

$313

$269

TRANSPORTATION

$862

$57

HEALTHCARE

$353

$60

Total Average Per Month

$2,490

$891

Save 64% on Major Monthly Expenses

NOTE: The Top 4 essential living expenses in the US are housing, food, transportation, and healthcare. These 4 expenses make up 68% of the average living costs in major cities.

How Much Is Housing In Antalya?

Kaleici is my recommended neighborhood for first-time expats in Antalya

Housing Costs

$505

My apartment rent ($500) was double offseason rental rates, but I didn't mind paying the premium. I lived in a large 1-bedroom apartment in Kaleici (Old Quarter), about a 10-minute walk from the beach and 300 yards from Hadrian's Gate. The front windows overlooked a park with an afternoon sunset view of the mountains. 

All utilities, including electricity, were included. The accommodations were fully equipped with a sofa, smart TV, air conditioner, a fast internet connection, and a washing machine. 

My daily sunset view from the living room

All utilities included

My large one-bedroom apartment $500

Saving Money On Rent In Turkey

Apartment rent is your biggest opportunity to spend less than I did.  Like other Mediterranean tourist magnets, like Croatia or Greece, monthly rent on the coasts peak during the summer. Rents vary significantly between long-term vs. short-term. If you try to rent month-to-month during the summer, you can expect the average rent to potentially double. I paid $500 in July, but you can find a similar long-term lease for $200 to $350.

Cost of a studio apartment

For a centrally located studio or smaller 1-bedroom apartment, you can expect to pay about $250 for a short-term lease (Wi-Fi and utilities included). Even at this lower rate, you are still a short walk to the beach.

 INSIDER TIP : Airbnb Long-Term Rentals In Antalya- Don't look at Airbnb to estimate real estate prices. Even with discounts, Airbnb's short-term rentals are still 2X the normal rates. Use Google translate on Sahibinden to view local apartment listings first.

Check out Facebook groups as a secondary source: Properties For Rent and Sale in Antalya or Foreigners In Antalya

Is It Expensive To Eat In Turkey?


Food Costs

$269

I only spent $250 per month here, but that number did not include any sit-down restaurants. Due to the pandemic, I didn't eat out but instead had Turkish food delivered daily. But quality food is so cheap here, even with a "normal" ratio of cook vs. eat out; the number would still only increase to $300ish.

Here is an example from average markets in the city center

  • Boneless chicken breast $2.30 per pound
  • Milk $0.75 for a 1-liter bottle
  • Eggs $1.30 for 10 eggs
  • Cheese $6 per pound
  • Fresh baked loaf of bread $0.32

 INSIDER TIP : Discount Supermarkets- The Turkish version of Aldi, Lidl, or Hofer is called A101. For basic groceries and staples, this is the most convenient market in Old Town. 

What are average restaurant prices in Turkey?

Fast Food $1- Simit (Turkish Bagel) with Cheese and Sausage

Mid-Range Restaurant $5- Sis Kofte X 3 (Grilled Meatballs)

Sit Down Restaurant $8.50- Grilled Baby Calamari with Garlic and Chili Peppers

What Does Transportation Cost In Antalya?

My tram ride passed a tower that was part of the city's original fortifications built in the 2nd century.

Transportation

$57

Kaleici (Old Town) is very walkable, with several streets blocked off for pedestrian use. I only needed to jump on the bus a couple of times a week for my daily life. Otherwise, everything I needed, cafes, groceries, a major shopping mall, and a beach, was within walking distance.

Public Transit

The public transportation system consists of a tram system and bus lines. As my apartment was directly on the light-rail line, I took the tram to almost anywhere I needed to go. For about $0.40 cents, you can jump on any tram or bus. The ticket is per ride, regardless of distance. Even the 40-minute tram to the Antalya airport is $0.40 cents.

Kaleici (Old Town) is very walkable, with several streets blocked off for pedestrian use. I only needed to jump on the bus a couple of times a week for my daily life. Otherwise, everything I needed, cafes, groceries, a major shopping mall, and a beach, was within walking distance.

Taxi Cost In Antalya

Uber is not available. However, on almost every street corner is a yellow box. Press the button, and a taxi will pick you us in a few minutes. Taxis are inexpensive and will take you almost anywhere in the city for $4-$5.

International Flights

One conveniently named international airport, Antalya Airport (AYT) serves Antalya. 

The cost of transportation inside the country is cheap. Flying from Antalya to Istanbul on Turkish Airlines is a $20 one-hour flight.

Direct flights to Germany or the UK are $30 to $40 for a one-way ticket.

How Much Money Do You Spend For Entertainment?


Entertainment and Sports

$136

Here is another case where the pandemic kept me from enjoying the nightlife. I leaned on my expat network to better understand what a night out on the town looks like here.

  • Fitness Club $10 per month-   You can find smaller local gyms for $10 a month, but even nicer big box gyms (with group fitness classes) are as low as $15.
  • Beers at a Pub $3- While food is cheap here, there is a high tax on alcohol that makes social life more expensive than you would guess. A .33 liter bottle of Efes, a domestic beer, can be found for $3-$4 / 20-30 TRY at most bars and pubs.
  • Night Out with Friends $???- There are several mega-clubs here if getting shoulder to elbow close with gyrating sweaty strangers is your thing. Sadly, none of my friends like to dance, or I’m getting too old to go clubbing. Either way, I don’t have good intel for a proper entertainment budget. 
  • Museums $ FREE- See Below

 INSIDER TIP : Kaleici- Walking around Antalya's Old Town is like walking around an open-air museum. The city was first settled 200 years before Christ. Taking a stroll through Kaleci is a walking history tour. 

  • Not far from my Airbnb was Hadrian's Gate, built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century.
  • The Kesik Minaret, or Broken Minaret, initially built in 2 AD, started as a Roman temple, converted into a Byzantine church in the 700s, then converted by Arab invaders into a mosque in the early 13th century. The mosque was captured and reconverted back into a church during the crusades, then changed hands and finally switched back into a mosque.
  • Hıdırlık Tower, also built in the 2nd century, sits on the waterfront mere steps away from where I eat lunch. 

Other Costs When Moving To Turkey


  • Barbershop Men's Haircut $6- Most men's barbershops charge between $6-$8 for a fade and scissor cut.
  • Cell Phone Internet Plan $5-  LTE prepaid data plans are roughly $5 for 4 GB of data.

How Much Does Healthcare cost in Turkey?

Healthcare

$43

My travel health insurance covers me while I'm in the country, but if I wanted to retire here, a Temporary Residence Permit requires purchasing Turkish Health Care.

There are several International Health Insurance companies doing business here, including Mapfre, AXA, and Allianz. Premiums for expats between 36 and 45 years old will be roughly $43 / 325 TRY per month. This insurance would cover 100% of an emergency, then 60% co-insurance for additional medical care.

 INSIDER TIP : Turkish Healthcare- If your country has a reciprocity agreement with Turkey, your national health insurance fulfills the Turkish health insurance requirement for residency. No additional purchases are necessary.

As of 2020, those countries include: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Luxemburg, Macedonia, Netherlands, North Cyprus, and Romania.

Will My Home Country Health Insurance Cover Me?

Most likely no. Most health insurance will not cover you for any injuries sustained outside your home country. To get protection while living abroad, there are two options:

  • Travel Health Insurance- This will cover you for unexpected medical issues while overseas. However, the coverage requires you maintain insurance in the United States or your respective home country. I pay roughly $50 per month for complete coverage with no deductible.
  • Expat Medical Insurance- If you retire abroad, expat health insurance is a more complete option. Expat Medical Insurance is the "normal" insurance you are familiar with to from home. Coverage is built for people who live in a country versus traveling. While more expensive than Travel Medical Insurance, premiums are still cheaper than the US. 

Will I Have To Pay Taxes Living In Turkey?

Turkey will tax your worldwide income if the government considers you a tax resident. You will trigger tax residency if:

  • Your legal residence is in Turkey or
  • You intend to settle in the country or
  • You stay over 183 days in a calendar year

If you are a digital nomad working here, any income you earn in-country is subject to income taxYou also will have to pay a combined Social Security tax of 15%: 9% Short Term Disability, 5% Public Health Insurance, 1% Unemployment.

Check this list to see which countries have a double taxation agreement.

Turkey has a double taxation treaty with the United States. If you are a tax resident here, you may be able to deduct the income tax paid to the US from the amount you owe . Speak with a tax advisor to confirm

What Is Not Included In The Monthly Budget?

Expat Taxes

If you stay longer than 183 days, many countries will consider you a tax resident. Being an expat may help you save money on your taxes. Talk to a tax professional to see how tax residency applies to you. I partnered with a firm specializing in expat taxes to secure a special deal for Nomadic FIRE readers.


Use the promotion code "Nomadic25Consultation" for $25 off a tax consultation to get you started. 


Even better, use their experts prepare your tax return, the entire consultation is FREE.

Moving Costs

Between customs, freight, packing costs, and ground transportation, figuring out how to move your stuff overseas can become complicated.  Partner with a certified international moving expert to ensure competitive rates and no hidden fees. 

What Are The Visa Requirements For Turkey?

These ruins, built in the 1st century, are part of the ancient city of Arykanda, just one-hour away from Antalya. 

How Much Does It Cost To Move To Turkey?

Are you from the EU? Lucky you. European Union citizens can enter visa-exempt for 90 days out of every 180 days.

For retirees looking to stay longer than 90-days, check out the section below on Retirement Visas. 

US Citizens get no love and need a visa to enter. They even increased the fee. I paid $50, plus a $1.50 Service Fee for an eVisa. 

Other nationalities can use the Turkish eVisa website. to check eligibility

 INSIDER TIP : European Countries- The country is in NATO, but not part of the European Union or Schengen. Being outside the Schengen zone makes the country a great way to refresh your 90-day Schengen allowance with flights from the EU for under $40.

What About A Retirement Visa?

Turkey does not have a specific "Retirement Visa." However, they have a Short-Term Residence Permit, locally named e-ikamet, for any stay over 90 days. Since the e-ikamet is valid for one to two years and is renewable, this residence permit can function as a retirement visa.

The application process is straightforward; there are no requirements around business investment or property purchases. There is an income requirement equal to the Turkish minimum wage (roughly $400 as of January 2021). 

You can apply for this permit at the Ministry of the Interior once you have already arrived in Turkey. You will then be required to make an appointment at your local Provincial Directorate of Migration Management to complete the permit process. 

I will be dedicating a complete article detailing the requirements and steps to apply for the Short-Term Residence Permit and how to use that permit to get long-term residence in a future post. Sign up below to get an update when the article is released.

Compare Cost Of Living In Antalya, Turkey

Are you still researching for the best cities for retirement? Check out our extensive Cost of Living collection for the best expat destinations. Get insider information and real examples of expat life from people who have spent years living abroad. I've compiled all the information you need: cost breakdowns, insider tips to save money, and detailed examples of the quality of lifestyle you can enjoy. 

Final Thoughts: Is Antalya Good Value For The Money?

Antalya is the cheapest city I've lived in with the best value for the money. Average prices are inline with renowned low-cost cities, Medellin or Da Nang, and the quality of life is fantastic. $1000 buys a comfortable life for most expats. Some cost of living calculators even find my $1000 budget on the high-end.

The Earth Awaits estimates a modest lifestyle at only $514. I'm not sure I could enjoy a budget that low. Yes, you could reduce easily reduce housing by signing a longer lease. Also, my food cost always trends high, as I enjoy eating out, so there could be additional savings in the dining budget. 

Overall, my expenses are so low here; I don't mind spending $1000 because of the higher value I get for each dollar spent. 

Resources for Working and Living Abroad

Start Speaking A New Language In 30 days

Pimsleur is the best method I have found to get to "Survival-Level" quickly when learning a new language. With Pimsleur, I can ease the stress of arriving in a new country and start speaking with people in my neighborhood. Ordering food, getting directions, haggling prices, and making friends is 10X easier when you can communicate in the local language.

Achieve better results using Pimsleur's short classes and organic learning methodology vs. the mindless repetition, endless verb conjugations, and tedious memorization of other language courses. 

Transfer Money Internationally

For expats and nomads, Wise offers an International Bank account for your money transfers. It's an easier and cheaper alternative for paying your bills while overseas.

Looking to buy property abroad, Wise has a Large Transfer Rate for even bigger savings. 

An International Mover You Can Trust

Suddath® simplifies overseas moving as a one-stop-shop for all your international moving needs. You will be supported by a professional, dedicated move counselor every step of the way. With an easier international relocation, you’re free to focus more on your new destination, while worrying less about the move.

Request a FREE international moving quote below.

Get Your US Expat Tax Questions Answered

US Expat taxes are the most complex in the world. However, living abroad comes with potential tax advantages, but mistakes are very easy to make. It is no wonder many expats are frustrated. 

Avoid complications, penalties, and fines, Taxes For Expats is here to help.

Protect Your Health While Abroad

Your home health insurance is unlikely to provide coverage for you while overseas. Get premium health insurance designed for expats and digital nomads that protects you anywhere you are in the world, even during a pandemic.

Use A Virtual Mailbox To Keep A Permanent US Address And Receive Important Documents and Packages

Get a US street address you can use while you are overseas. Use a digital mailbox with a REAL physical location to receive mail from USPS, FedEx, and UPS.

A virtual mailbox can receive and forward all your important documents and packages, replace credit cards, maintain state residency, get checks deposited, or file business and tax applications. Prices start at $6. 

Travel Tools and Resources

Skyscanner- My favorite airline search tool to find all the cheapest flights in one place.
Airport Pick-Up Service- Arrive at your destination stress-free with a private car cheaper than most taxis. 

Loctote- My favorite day pack. Secure your belongings while walking around town.

Want more insights on Living Abroad? Sign up below.


About the author

Hi, That's me. I'm Marco Sison. I am a survivor of the corporate rat race. I started Nomad FIRE to show you an alternative to the stress and grind of 70-hour weeks to pay off a mortgage, student loans, and countless bills. After getting laid off in 2015, I said screw it all and retired early at 41 years old. I have traveled the last five years to over 40 countries to show you the best ways to save, invest, and live in amazing countries for 70% less cost than the US. I have been featured in: US News & World Reports, Huffington Post, MSN Money, USA Today, ABC Network, Yahoo Finance, Best Life, CW Network, Dr. Wealth, and others. [view press...]

    • Marco Sison says:

      Hi Fareen,

      You are most welcome. Let me know if you have any questions.

      Cheers,

      Marco

  • Excellent article, exactly what I have been seaching for. Perhaps you can elaborate on airline for flights to Germany for the prices mentioned, I cannot seam to find the prices you mentioned.
    Regards

    • Marco Sison says:

      Hi Natalia,

      Check Pegasus and Corendon for options. Here is an example of what you could find for next month to Berlin, Dusseldorf, or Leipzig ($44 to $50 one-way tickets available).

      Antalya to Berlin Airline Prices

  • Chantelle says:

    I’m so surprised at the cost of living here! It’s always remarkable to me how inexpensive healthcare is in other countries compared to the US

    • Marco Sison says:

      Healthcare and Education are the two mind-boggling expensive things in the US. Many EU countries pay $2000 or less per year for a quality university education. I don’t think $2000 would have covered my textbooks in the US.

  • I had seen that Turkey was open to visitors relatively early last year and was thinking about spending some time there. I never got around to leaving Brazil but now I’m sort of wishing I did! That apartment is beautiful and sounds like such a good deal! Love your tip about Airbnb; I’ve found the same to be true most places. The fact that Antalya is very similar in cost of living to Vietnam is incredibly enticing!

    • Marco Sison says:

      Airbnb is great for short-term stays, but my best apartments have always come from local sources. The hardest part is finding those local sources.

  • This is such a great post. It is very well thought and researched. I really like the comparison chat. I have been to Turkey and would like to explore it extensively.

    • Marco Sison says:

      I’m excited to explore more as well. I’ve only spent time in one area. Istanbul is high on my need-to-see-list.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
    >